Shunkosai Hokuei, Japanese

Alson known as: Shunbaisai Hokuei, Shunko, Sekaro HokueiActive from about 1829-1837. Shunbaisai Hokuei was a master artist of the third period of Osaka printmaking. Many of his prints were technical marvels employing advanced block-cutting and printing techniques.

Hokuei used a tension-filled dramatic approach toward actor portraiture in which he sometimes positioned isolated figures against monochromatic backgrounds to emphasize the actors' expressions and emotional states. He experimented with unusual placements of solitary figures, which when combined with articulated gestures, postures, and facial expressions created an air of mystery, intrigue, and danger. Hokuei also arranged solitary figures to suggest related action beyond the single sheet, which added a sense of uncertainty and dramatic possibility that compelled the viewer to fill in the missing story.

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